Children as young as 10 are repeat self-harming: study (UNSW Sydney)

The risk of repeat self-harm in young people is highest in the first month after an initial self-harm hospital presentation.

Suicidal behaviour is evident in children, with some as young as 10 presenting to hospitals and emergency departments following a self-harm episode – some on multiple occasions.

Research has found 6055 adolescents aged 10–14 attended an emergency department in New South Wales for self-harm over a five-year period – 2276 of them for a repeat incidence.

In the study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, researchers from the Black Dog Institute and UNSW Medicine & Health analysed over 81,000 hospital-presenting self-harm episodes among 48,547 individuals aged 10-29 years identified during 2014-2019 in New South Wales. They found approximately one-quarter had engaged in self-harm more than once. Repeat self-harm was most likely to occur in the year following the initial episode – specifically in the first month.

“Anecdotally, we’ve been finding that teachers are overhearing self-harm and suicide being discussed in the playground from the primary school years,” says Dr Michelle Tye, senior author of the study who is from the Black Dog Institute and UNSW Medicine & Health. “This study supports that children and adolescents are a high-risk group for self-harm and repeat self-harm.”

The research, which was funded by the Paul Ramsay Foundation, also found the risk of repeat self-harm was highest among children and adolescents who had their index (first) episode between ages 10-19, and for more severe presentations requiring admission to hospital. According to the findings, those with two or more self-harm presentations had a higher risk of dying from suicide.

While the study couldn’t determine intent, repeat self-harm is a predictor of suicide, which is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15-44. Self-harm is also a risk factor for a suicide attempt, which is even more common, with some estimates suggesting they occur up to 30 times as often as deaths.

“Adolescence is a stressful period of change, but young people today face unprecedented uncertainty – the COVID-19 pandemic, climate anxiety and economic stress colliding,” Dr Tye says. “It’s likely they’re not coping with distress well and turning to self-harm as a way of coping.”

Lead author of the study Dr Jiahui Qian, from the Black Dog Institute and UNSW Medicine & Health, says self-harm behaviours among adolescents may be even more widespread than reported.

“We only looked at self-harm presentations to an emergency department. But there will be many more young people in the community who self-harm but don’t go to a hospital and so aren’t represented in this study,” Dr Qian says.

The study found males aged 15-29 who were admitted to hospital following a self-harm episode had a higher risk of engaging in self-harm again and subsequent suicide death compared to females. The higher risk of suicide death in males has also been observed in previous studies.

“We observed a higher risk of repeat self-harm and suicide death in males, but overall self-harm presentations are much more prevalent in females,” Dr Qian says.

Dr Tye says it could be that males escalate the lethality of their means of self-harm more than females, but that’s question future research may be able to help explain.

Developing youth-specific self-harm interventions

While the complete prevention of self-harm may not be realistic, we can hope to reduce the extent of it, particularly for young people. Youth-specific early intervention is critical to prevent future self-harm episodes for adolescents.

“Self-harm is fundamentally a maladaptive coping behaviour, so we need to find ways to stop young people from getting to the point of engaging in suicidal behaviour and shift them to adaptive coping behaviours,” Dr Tye says.

The researchers say more evidence-based programs in schools would help expose large cohorts of young people to adaptive coping strategies, raise awareness of the warning signs of suicide and non-suicidal self-harm, and educate young people about how to seek help.

“We need better (and more) suicide prevention-focused programs in schools to empower young people to recognise the warning signs, and improve their capacity to seek out and get the right support,” Dr Tye says.

There is also a need to improve clinical assessment in frontline health services. For many, the experience of presenting to an emergency department can be varied, and clinical support and post-discharge care isn’t always adequate, Dr Tye says.

Routine psychosocial assessments and follow-ups with patients may help reduce the risk of repeat self-harm and suicide death over the long term. But the heightened risk in the first month following a self-harm episode also indicates a need for more immediate patient support.

“Ideally, all young people should have access to ongoing support through coordinated aftercare approaches, particularly in those first few weeks after their presentation to hospital, to protect against repeat self-harm,” Dr Tye says.

Dr Qian says developing new insights into how to respond effectively to self-harm will help suicide prevention efforts. There is an increasingly critical need to learn from children and adolescents who are presenting for self-harm to hospital to help researchers better understand intervention opportunities, guide service provision and improve clinical management.

“Because we’re better able to identify young people who self-harm from hospital records, rather than in the community, we have an opportunity to engage with them to help us understand how we can develop better preventative strategies and find new opportunities for intervention,” Dr Qian says.

In an emergency call triple zero – 000.

For help and support, call: 

• Parent Line NSW 1300 130 052
• Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
• NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511
• Lifeline Australia 13 11 14
• Kids Helpline 1800 551 800

Source: UNSW Media & Content

Coles sports grants help local clubs stay on track


More than $2.2 million in sports equipment grants distributed by Coles in four years

Coles is helping Little Athletics centres to stay on track with more than $250,000 in sports equipment grants to be distributed to 73 local centres across Australia for this summer’s season.

The latest round of grants from the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund takes Coles’ donation to grassroots Little Athletics centres to more than $2.2 million in four years and will help centres buy new sports and safety equipment such as javelins, discuses, hurdles and defibrillators to support aspiring athletes and community volunteers.

This year’s grants have been made possible with money raised by Coles, its banana growers and customers during the inaugural Coles Little Athletics Banana A-Peel held earlier this year, when 10 cents of every kilogram of Cavendish bananas sold in Coles supermarkets was donated to the cause.

Coles Little Athletics Australia CEO Myles Foreman said the grants will help centres immensely, particularly those severely impacted by the NSW/QLD floods in February.

“The past two seasons have been extremely testing for our clubs and centres who have battled numerous challenges such as COVID-19, floods and bushfires,” he said.

“These natural disasters and the pandemic have not only impacted on Little Athletics centres’ ability to fundraise at a local level but it’s also had a huge impact on the morale of the centres. The grants from this round of the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund will not only help centres buy new equipment but it will lift the spirits of their volunteers, athletes and families for the new season.”

Coles General Manager Corporate & Indigenous Affairs Sally Fielke said Coles was delighted to continue to support grassroots Little Athletics through initiatives like the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund and banana donations.

“Coles has been a proud supporter of Little Athletics for over five years, and we’re delighted to provide more than $250,000 in sports equipment grants to help local centres kickstart their new season,” she said.

“We’re very aware of the challenges local Little Athletics centres have faced over the past two years and we’re proud to do our bit to help them to recover and grow so that kids and families can continue to enjoy Little Athletics each week.”

Among the centres to receive a grant is Maryborough Amateur Athletics Club in Queensland whose clubrooms were under water seven months ago.   Club President Gavin Grantz said the grant will help the centre to rebuild and recover from the devastating floods.

“The floods last season destroyed some of our equipment and it also damaged our buildings, grounds and canteen equipment, which means that our ability to fundraise this season will be severely impacted,” he said.

“The grant from Coles will allow volunteers to concentrate on training the athletes rather than constant fundraising as the club is still needing to pay for other repairs to the grounds.  It will help us to buy a new trolley for our volunteers to move equipment safely and efficiently and the new hurdles and javelins will provide a more enjoyable experience for our athletes.”

In addition to providing more than $2.2 million in equipment grants, Coles has donated more than 3.7 million bananas to Little Athletics centres since 2017.

For details of successful recipients visit

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10-days of glorious music at the Desert Song Festival, Australia

In a remote Central Australian Gorge, the 2022 Desert Song Festival featured Australian and international artists over 10 days, plus a Climate and Lands Symposium that brought together audiences and Australia’s leading climate scientists and Indigenous Knowledge Keepers in an unprecedented art music/science collaboration. 

In anticipation for its 10th anniversary celebrations in 2023, the Desert Song Festival this year combined music, art, cultural experiences, the ‘Climate Caravan’ and a Climate and Land Symposium. Choirs, singers, musicians, Climate Scientists and Indigenous Knowledge-keepers fostered a genuine interaction between Climate Science and the Arts, true to the theme ‘Our Climate, Our Planet, Our Future’.

The viability of the planet for generations to come is at stake and as we face the existential reality of dangerous climate change and global warming, the values of DSF impress upon the organisers the need to make music and ‘sing a song’ for the planet as a tool for climate action.

Add to this the cultural visits to remote communities; the Central Australian premiere of Spinifex Gum presented by the Marliya Choir from Cairns; ‘From the Desert to the Arafura Sea’, the Festival’s intercultural musical collaboration between the Djari Project and the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir; two magical nights at the Earth Sanctuary ‘Under the Southern Cross’;  A cappella in the Gorge and so much more!

The Northern Territories is a robust crucible of living languages and vibrant cultures. This is the ‘cradle’ of the Desert Song Festival (DSF). The depth of wisdom and culture of 60,000 years of human occupation of Central Australia informs and shapes a Festival program that celebrates Aboriginal languages and culture through performances that foster pride, resilience and social cohesion amongst the Centralian community and audiences.

DSF presented ‘the essential Australian Journey’ this September in Alice Springs where the unique story of human occupation, resilience and culture was celebrated in Central Australia’s most popular festival. Across 10 days of exceptional music-making from the glittering Parade of Performers in the Todd Mall in the Alice Springs CBD to the magic of Kwartatuma – Ormiston Gorge, Festival-goers enjoyed the sounds from choirs and musicians from across Australia and visiting international artists presented over 50 events showcasing cultural diversity and artistic brilliance celebrating the singer, the song, the instrument, the land and its people.

Learn more about the Desert Song Festival by visiting their website:

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Game Changer tells ‘a good story’ but that’s as far as its accolades should go

Speaker, blogger and public health researcher Zoë Harcombe, Ph.D., details Netflix’s film, The Game Changers and says it tells “a good story,” but that’s as far as the 2019 documentary’s accolades should go, she suggests. In this presentation from Dec. 15, 2019, Harcombe offers an incisive and often humorous critique of the arguments the film makes in favor of a plant-based diet.

Zoë Harcombe on The Game Changers: Good Story, Unconvincing Argument:

Future of Healthcare Week Asia: Building sustainable systems for all

Grab the opportunity to meet more than 4000 policymakers, healthcare providers, academics and scientists at Future of Healthcare Week Asia.

Ministries of health across Asia, doctors, investors, scientists and senior representatives from industry, patient associations, academics and charities will convene in Singapore and online at Economist Impact’s third annual Future of Healthcare Week this November 15th to 17th 2022.

This is a critical time for the healthcare industry. As it emerges from a severe global pandemic, vulnerabilities in the healthcare landscape are highlighted, with implications for the future of medicine. Now is the right time for healthcare leaders to maintain momentum on the silver-linings and adaptations of the crisis: the loosening of regulatory hurdles that have driven innovation, the enhanced collaborations across sectors, and the visibility of the significant impact of vaccines on people’s health. Future of Healthcare Week will examine the vulnerabilities and opportunities that the recent crisis catalysed, giving a 360-degree view of the future of healthcare in Asia and beyond, and will explore how silos can be broken down to further the efficiency and sustainability of healthcare for all.

Discussions will address the biggest industry issues including healthcare-system weaknesses, labour shortages, healthy ageing, data application and ownership during the rise of Web 3.0 and much more through insight-driven discussions including Removing silos—collaborating for success; Supply chains: future-proofing for resilience in healthcare systems; Headhunting for health: alleviating the labour shortage; Healthspan over lifespan: mitigating the diseases of ageing; Data and interoperability in healthcare: ethics, opportunities and the way forward. View the latest agenda.

Chaired by The Economist Group‘s editors, Future of Healthcare Week features over 80 senior expert speakers from hospitals, government authorities, patient groups, medtech, pharma, finance sectors, academics and think-tanks, including:

  • Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Minister of Health, Indonesia
  • Cheong Wei Yang, deputy secretary (technology), Ministry of Health, Singapore
  • Clair Deevy, global director of social impact, WhatsApp
  • Deborah Seifert, country manager, Thailand and Indochina, Pfizer Inc, and chairperson, Pfizer Emerging Markets Asia Regional Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Kai-Fu Lee, chairman and chief executive, Sinovation Ventures, and president, Sinovation Ventures Artificial Intelligence Institute
  • Jeremy Lim, director, Leadership Institute for Global Health Transformation, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore
  • Jiadi Yu, chief investment officer, International Finance Corporation
  • Lee Chien Earn, deputy group chief executive (Regional Health System), Singapore Health Services (SingHealth)
  • Martin Taylor, director, health systems and services, World Health Organisation, Western Pacific Region
  • Mary Wong-Hemrajani, chairman, Global Chinese Breast Cancer Organisations Alliance
  • Nurul Izzah Anwar, member of parliament, Permatang Pauh, Malaysia
  • Peter Hotez, dean, National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Roberta Sarno, director of digital health, Asia Pacific Medical Technology Association (APACMed)
  • Sania Nishtar, cardiologist and member of the Senate, Pakistan
  • and many more

Future of Healthcare Week will take place in One Farrer Hotel, Singapore on November 15th and 16th with a third day of conversations online on November 17th. Join Economist Impact to explore what the future of healthcare will be like.

Future of Healthcare Week is supported by Pfizer and Whatsapp. Insight hours are supported by Abbott, Hong Kong Trade Development Council and Philips.

PR Newswire is the communication partner of Future of Healthcare Week.

Free places to attend Future of Healthcare Week are available now. Tickets for the event at One Farrer Hotel, Singapore are free but limited. Contact to secure your attendance on November 15th and 16th. For online registration and event details, please visit the website:

To engage with Future of Healthcare Week on social media, use #EconFutureofHealthcare in your conversations and follow @EconomistEvents.

Source : Economist Impact

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Record Funding for Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Research

“It is crucial our best and brightest minds are helping advance the tools the aged care industry can use to provide better environments and resources for older Australians.” The Hon. Anika Wells MP, Minister for Aged Care, Minister for Sport

The Albanese Government will provide an unprecedented $25 million for dementia, ageing and aged care research.
A total of 18 grants, provided through the Medical Research Future Fund, will go to Australia’s best and brightest researchers.

Their research will look at new ways to extend older Australians’ healthy, active, years of life.

New approaches will reduce the stigma associated with ageing and lead to better outcomes for older people, including those in vulnerable populations.

Consistency and quality of care for older Australians will be improved across all care settings.

Better data will be used to develop more effective, evidence-based, care for older Australians.

The projects will view a range of ways to improve support for older Australians.

These include developing an app for older people to recognise early signs of dementia; and increasing dementia diagnosis and early treatments through primary care and awareness programs.

Researchers will look at reducing the risk of dementia, cardiovascular disease and falls through healthy lifestyle and diet changes, including a specific exercise and falls prevention program for older culturally and linguistically diverse Australians.

People’s fitness to drive when they have been diagnosed with dementia will be better assessed and managed.

Older people will be encouraged to communicate their aged care needs, provide their views on screening for age-related health conditions, and engage in physical activity for better health.

Health providers will be helped to better recognise and respond to elder abuse.

Researchers will also trial the use of metformin medication to treat blocked leg arteries; and use informatics to improve medication management in nursing homes.

Here’s the full list of projects and intended outcomes:

Project title: A Preventative Care Program to optimise mental health during transition into residential aged care
Project summary: The transition from living in the community to residential aged care (a nursing home), is a stressful experience for the person and their family that can lead to poor mental health. We designed a program to assist the new resident (PEARL), the family (aSTART), and to provide additional training for staff. We expect the combination of programs will reduce and prevent symptoms of depression in the resident. We will evaluate the impact of the program to guide national rollout.
Recipient: University of Newcastle
Funding amount: $200,000.00
Project title: Better Environment, Healthier Ageing
Project summary: “Better environment, Healthier Ageing” project aims to measure major environmental risk factors comprehensively, to evaluate their health impacts in older Australians, and to develop, evaluate and implement intervention strategies that can mitigate the adverse impacts. The project will clarify the environmental enablers and barriers for achieving healthy ageing, and provide older Australians, aged care and health service providers with effective strategies to improve environmental health.
Recipient: Monash University
Funding amount: $200,000.00
Project title:A Preventative Care Program to optimise mental health during transition into residential aged care
Project summary: The transition from living in the community to residential aged care (a nursing home), is a stressful experience for the person and their family that can lead to poor mental health. We designed a program to assist the new resident (PEARL), the family (aSTART), and to provide additional training for staff. We expect the combination of programs will reduce and prevent symptoms of depression in the resident. We will evaluate the impact of the program to guide national rollout.
Recipient: University of Newcastle
Funding amount: $200,000.00
Project title: EMBED: A stepped wedge cluster randomised trial of a tailored, integrated model of care to reduce symptoms of depression in home aged care
Project summary: Older people who receive aged care services at home are at a high risk of depression but lack access to effective treatments. Aged care staff are mostly not trained to recognise or manage symptoms of depression. This research will evaluate Enhanced Management of home-Based Elders with Depression (EMBED)—a new model of care that is expected to reduce symptoms of depression, address stigma and enable older Australians to access evidence-based, tailored treatment at home.
Recipient: Monash University
Funding amount: $1,997,775.71
Project title: Evaluation of primary care and help-seeking promotion programs to increase dementia diagnosis and early treatment
Project summary: This project will test whether a public health-seeking campaign and a primary care practice change program increase dementia diagnosis and treatments and supports after diagnosis. The interventions will target dementia knowledge, stigma, and motivations. Interventions will be delivered in three regions. We will measure change through routinely collected health administration data, surveys and interviews. Results will be used to improve dementia training, public campaigns and policy.
Recipient: University of Sydney
Funding amount: $1,999,814.75
Project title: Frailty KIT: An Australian Frailty Network to Create Knowledge, Implement Findings and Support Training
Project summary: Programs to promote healthy ageing and reduce frailty work in research trials, but these are not widely available and where they are, people do not always join in. This study will compare ways to support older people to participate in frailty programs (e.g. health coach, online portal) to inform national implementation. We will form an Australian Frailty Network to oversee this and ensure all future work is coordinated and informed by the needs of older people, their families and caregivers.
Recipient: The University of Queensland
Funding amount: $4,993,238.54
Project title: Getting to the heart of healthy ageing: a behaviour change program to promote dietary pattern changes
Project summary: Blood vessel disease is linked with risk of dementia, cardiovascular disease and falls. A large clinical trial will determine if a novel, low-cost, behaviour change program (knowledge of level of blood vessel disease, its links with risk of dementia, cardiovascular disease and falls, and the benefits of and how to follow a Mediterranean diet) will motivate an individual to make healthy lifestyle changes and will improve measures of risk for dementia, cardiovascular disease and falls.
Recipient: Edith Cowan University
Funding amount: $506,834.96
Project title: IMPAACT: IMproving the PArticipation of older Australians in policy decision-making on Ageing-related CondiTions
Project summary: In the future, more Australians will live with health conditions that are related to getting older.  Some experts recommend that older people be screened for these conditions, yet many questions remain about how best to do this. Together with older people, we will conduct a process to incorporate older people’s views into screening for ageing-related conditions. Our project will provide recommendations on how such screening should be offered within the community.
Recipient: Torrens University Australia Limited
Funding amount: $584,430.14
Project title: Implementation of a co-designed exercise and fall prevention program for older people from CALD backgrounds.
Project summary: There is strong evidence that exercise reduces falls in older people. Most older people do not meet physical activity guidelines and there are limited resources to support people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. We will i) codesign an exercise and falls prevention program with older people from three culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and stakeholders and ii) evaluate the program in 630 older people from CALD backgrounds.
Recipient: University of Melbourne
Funding amount: $200,000.00
Project title: Implementing innovative technology promoting self-awareness of brain health and self-determination in obtaining a timely dementia diagnosis
Project summary: To delay decline, dementia needs to be diagnosed early. However, up to 76% of Australians diagnosed with dementia have advanced beyond the early stage. The Brain Health Journey app is designed to increase awareness of brain health and promote help-seeking for cognitive concerns. This research into the app use and influence on help-seeking, knowledge and beliefs about dementia will underpin widespread use of an evidence-based app by vulnerable older people to facilitate timely dementia diagnosis.
Recipient: Deakin University
Funding amount: $1,052,176.56
Project title: MEtformin for treating peripheral artery disease Related walking Impairment Trial (MERIT)
Project summary: MERIT is a randomised controlled trial to assess whether a cheap repurposed medication can treat blocked leg arteries (peripheral artery disease), a condition which adversely affects the quality of life and reduces the functional ability of over 1 million older Australians. Given the substantial prevalence of this disease in older people and the current absence of effective treatments, the findings of MERIT will have important implications for older people worldwide.
Recipient: James Cook University
Funding amount: $1,215,182.04
Project title: Navigating Fitness to Drive with Patients with Dementia in Primary Care: Delivering an innovative Online Driver Safety Assessment and Management Package to Practitioners
Project summary: We will deliver critical resources for primary care management of driving in patients with dementia. These resources include a validated off-road assessment of fitness to drive and protocols. These resources will empower GPs to begin a driving conversation early, assess confidently, and encourage their patients to plan early for eventual driving cessation. An approach that GPs and people living with dementia endorse as the optimal outcome in the inevitable transition to driving retirement.
Recipient: The University of Queensland
Funding amount: $1,316,765.43
Project title: No more shame: Changing health providers recognition and response to elder abuse to reduce associated stigma
Project summary: Elder abuse is stigmatised. Older people feel shame disclosing it; health providers struggle to detect it. By improving health providers’ recognition and response, the stigma of elder abuse can be reduced. Using co-design and trial methods, we evaluate our intervention’s effectiveness in improving: (i) health providers’ knowledge of elder abuse and ageist attitudes; (ii) sub-acute care sites’ detection and responses; and (iii) older people’s sense of safety, quality of life, and mental health.
Recipient: University of Melbourne
Funding amount: $1,561,144.75
Project title: Residential Aged Care – Enhanced Dementia Diagnosis
Project summary: The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety found that 1 in 5 people have undiagnosed dementia. Our program provides education to residents, staff and families to address dementia stigma and uses blood tests and digital cognitive assessments to indicate which residents need a referral to specialists for a formal dementia diagnosis. This program will improve dementia knowledge and care leading to improved health and wellbeing for vulnerable people living in residential aged care.
Recipient: Monash University
Funding amount: $200,000.00
Project title: The Australian Consortium for Aged Care – Quality Measurement Toolbox (ACAC-QMET): Improving Quality of Care through Better Measurement and Evaluation
Project summary: The Australian Consortium for Aged Care (ACAC) will improve the quality of care provided to older Australians by defining what constitutes high quality care and the tools needed to monitor this across care settings. ACAC will generate the best quality evidence to inform the key components needed to provide high quality person-centred care. Our work will help care providers and the government understand the delivery of care quality and drive quality improvement to improve health and wellbeing.
Recipient: University of South Australia
Funding amount: $2,999,445.80
Project title: The ENJOY Seniors Exercise Park IMP-ACT project: IMProving older people’s health through physical ACTivity: a hybrid II implementation project design
Project summary: The ENJOY IMP-ACT program is a translation research project built on an evidence based physical and social activity program. It aims to expand its impact on the community by incorporating an implementation framework to support local governments and the community to further engage older people in physical activity for better health. The program aims to enhance the physical and mental wellbeing and social connectedness of older people and build capacity and community engagement.
Recipient: University of Melbourne
Funding amount: $2,011,748.53
Project title: The right to rehabilitation for people with dementia: tackling stigma and implementing evidence-based interventions
Project summary: People with dementia are often denied treatments to help them maintain their everyday activities. This can be due to stigma and a lack of knowledge by health professionals. The overall aim of our project is to work with people with dementia, their care partners and service providers to develop and test resources and strategies to improve access to treatments that will assist people living with dementia maintain independence and wellbeing in the community for as long as possible.
Recipient: Monash University
Funding amount: $1,015,820.66
Project title: Transforming residential aged care through evidence-based informatics
Project summary: Poor medication management is a critical and, to date, intractable problem in aged care, impacting residents’ wellbeing. Informatics approaches have enormous potential to improve medication management, reduce the workload of aged care staff, & support residents and families access timely information. This project will demonstrate how informatics can support monitoring of medication quality, provide decision support to guide decision-making & provide consumers with real-time information.
Recipient: Macquarie University
Funding amount: $992,386.00

Project title: Unspoken, Unheard, Unmet: Improving Access to Preventative Health Care through Better Conversations about Care.

Project summary: Communication is important. We use it to express our needs, to connect with other people, to make choices, and to tell someone when something is wrong. Many older Australians who receive aged care services have difficulty communicating, but their care workers do not have the tools or resources to support them to express their needs, choices, or concerns. We will co-design and evaluate the “Better Conversations” program: resources and training to support important conversations about aged care.

Recipient: The University of Queensland
Funding amount: $2,014,394.3
This media release has been provided from the office of The Hon. Anika Wells MP Minister for Aged Care Minister for Sport issued on 19 October 2022.

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World Health Summit 2022

The World Health Summit 2022, the world’s leading meeting for global health, began on Sunday morning in Berlin and was co-hosted for the first time by the World Health Organization (WHO). Among the central topics are climate change and health, pandemic preparedness, sustainable health systems and the role of the G7 and G20 in global health. More than 300 speakers from all regions of the world and from all sectors of society including over 20 government officials will present. The program is available for free online, and if you’d like to learn more, click these links for speakers and program.

Speakers also include German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russel, EU-Commission Director General for Health and Food Safety Sandra Gallina as well as UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Senegal’s President Macky Sall via video.

View the livestream of the opening ceremony:

View recordings from the event here:

Source: World Health Summit

Photo credit: World Health Summit 2022, Berlin, Germany & Digital, October 16-18, 2022. Photo: World Health Summit.

Mental health recognised as a critical concern by people in Asia, yet are unlikely to seek external support

FWD Group survey finds people in Asia view mental health as a critical concern, yet are unlikely to seek external support – positive reframing of the issue may hold the key to bridging the gap.

·       65% of people in Asia believe mental health will be one of the most critical issues in the coming year, yet only one-third are open to seeking external support

·       31% of respondents in Asia believe renaming “mental health” can help people to open up

·       40% of respondents in Asia say the cost of treatment is the biggest impediment to seeking outside help for mental health care

Hong Kong, 10 October 2022 (AFTNN/PRNews) – FWD Group Holdings Limited (“FWD Group”) today released the findings from its international mental health survey, one of the largest completed in Asia, to identify insights and ideas to help promote better overall emotional well-being.

In collaboration with Blackbox, an independent research company, the survey interviewed more than 10,000 people across 16 international markets between June and July 2022, including nine markets where FWD operates: Cambodia; Hong Kong; Indonesia; Japan; Malaysia; the Philippines; Singapore; Thailand and Vietnam.

Sim Preston, Managing Director and Group Chief Operating Officer, FWD Group, said, “While it’s great that mental health is gaining more and more awareness, especially in Asia, the stigma and cost of treatment remain barriers for people to seek the help they need. Published on World Mental Health Day, we hope this survey contributes insights and ideas that can help further raise awareness for this critical issue. As an insurer, we also look forward to making mental health protection more inclusive and focused on building mind strength, to enable people to celebrate living.”

While the survey found that 65% of people in Asia believe that mental health will become a critical issue in the coming year, only one-third of them prefer discussing their concerns externally. Given the cultural and societal stigmas associated with mental health, the survey findings showed that reframing mental health in a more positive way, such as ‘mind strength’, may reduce the stigma attached to the more traditional term and encourage more people in the region to open up about their challenges.

Cost of treatment was also identified as one of the most significant barriers to receiving care for mental health challenges in Asia, and 76% of respondents expressed their interest in exploring insurance options to address such challenges. The survey also uncovered that people in Asia worry about their families and jobs, which can lead to a higher rate of mental health challenges.

“Our survey showed that contributing factors to mental stress include concerns about a wide range of family responsibilities, coupled with work-related stress, rising inflation and post-pandemic adjustment. Given we also know that people may not be comfortable seeking help externally as individuals, family assumes a particularly important role. Opening up and addressing these challenges as a family unit first instead of individually, can make a difference as people may feel more comfortable,” added Joanna Chu, Group Head of Product Proposition, FWD Group.

Overall key findings of the survey include:

  1. Mental health issues will become more prominent around the world, yet stigma remains:

o        65% of people in Asia believe mental health will be one of the most critical issues in the coming year

o        74% of people said they had experienced (16%) or known someone close (28%) and distant (30%) to them who had suffered from mental health challenges

o        People in Asia place a higher value on self-help rather than seeking outside assistance, only 34% prefer discussing issues openly with others

o        31% of people in Asia believe renaming “mental health” can help people to open up

  1. Inflation and the future of children/family are top concerns leading to mental health challenges today

o        Concerns around inflation (47%) cause more mental health challenges than post-pandemic adjustment (30%)

o        People in Asia worry about their jobs (31%) and family-related concerns, including the future of children/family (34%) and increasing family responsibilities (32%)

  1. People in Asia are interested in insurance options for mental health

o        76% of people want to explore insurance to assist them in dealing with mental health challenges

o        The cost of treatment is one of the most significant barriers to receiving mental health care in Asia; 40% of people in Asia say the cost of treatment is the biggest impediment to seeking outside help.

– Ends –

About FWD Group

FWD Group is a pan-Asian life insurance business with approximately 10 million customers across 10 markets, including some of the fastest growing insurance markets in the world. Established in 2013, FWD is focused on making the insurance journey simpler, faster and smoother, with innovative propositions and easy-to-understand products, supported by digital technology. Through this customer-led approach, FWD is committed to changing the way people feel about insurance.

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Sydney’s Spring 2022 Sporting Events

Team AFTNZ has compiled these top sporting events held in Sydney and New South Wales (NSW) courtesy of images and content from Destination NSW. Join in the action and be part of one of the state’s many dynamic sporting events as the weather heats up, joining elite athletes competing in peak performance mode and casual entrants celebrating their best efforts.

Spring Sporting Calendar at a glance

Blackmores Sydney Running Festival: 18 September 2022
UCI Road World Championships: 18-25 September 2022
2022 Qatar Airways IRONMAN 70.3 Western Sydney: 22 September
ATC Sydney Everest Carnival: 17 September – 5 November 2022
FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022: 22 September – 1 October 2022
NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final: 2 October 2022
T20 ICC WC Games at SCG: 22 October – 9 November 2022
Sydney Super Cup: 17, 20 and 23 November 2022
Australia SailGP: 18 – 19 February 2023

2022 AusCycling Masters & Junior Road National Championships | 13-16 September 

Riding among some of the fastest amateur cyclists in the country is a rush you’ll never forget, and with a backdrop of Wollongong’s lush hinterland, it doesn’t get much better than AusCycling’s National Championships. Both masters and juniors can compete in this exciting event that traverses epic roads through Mount Keira and Marshall Mount, with more than 500 entrants expected to arrive in Wollongong for four days of racing action. All are welcome: all you need is strong bike skills, good physical fitness, and a positive mindset to ride over the finish line.

The Blackmores Sydney Running Festival | 18 September 

On your marks, get set, go! Sunday 18 September welcomes the keenest runners to Sydney for the prestigious running event. The routes bring runners past the city’s iconic Sydney Opera House, harbour foreshore and over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The 20th Anniversary Blackmores Sydney Running Festival hosts four running events including the Marathon, Half Marathon, the 10km Bridge Run and the Family Fun Run – perfect for walkers, friends or families on an invigorating day out!

Ironman – Western Sydney | 25 September 

The 2022 Qatar Airways IRONMAN 70.3 Western Sydney sees competitors face off in a heart-racing battle to be crowned the ultimate Ironman champ in Sydney’s Penrith. The 1.9km swim leg takes place in Penrith Lake passing under the iconic Olympic Bridge, while the 90km bike stretch loops through the streets before winding out to lush Blue Mountains countryside. At 21.1km, the flat running circuit is centred around the Sydney International Regatta Centre precinct. This year, there’s a junior event, too: seven- to 13-year-olds can take part in the run/bike/run IRONKIDS format on 24 September with the three-lap course creating an exciting stadium-like atmosphere.

FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup | 22 September – 1 October

The season of landmark sporting events bounces into action with the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022, between 22 September and 1 October, which sees the prowess of Sydney’s Opals hitting the court in competition with countries such as the USA, China and France.

NRL Telstra Premiership Rugby Grand Finals | 2 October

This championship is followed swiftly by the live-wire energy of the NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final on 2 October, which electrifies the city with the collective passion of dedicated league fans.

Aqua Rugby Festival | 10-12 November

The Manly beachfront isn’t the first location you’d think of when seeing a pro rugby game unfold, but the Aqua Rugby Festival (10–12 November) isn’t your usual sporting match. Watch from the shore or from a boat as professional and amateur teams battle it out on a floating pontoon. Spoiler alert: there’s plenty of tackles into the water.

Sydney Super Cup |17, 20, 23 November

Join the throngs cheering for their Premier League favourites during the Sydney Super Cup (17, 20 and 23 November)

News Source: Destination NSW

Image requires a mandatory credit: Blackmores Sydney Running Festival
Description: Runners partaking in Blackmores Sydney Running Festival running past the Sydney Opera House
Copyright status: Destination NSW Copyright

Listen up: how audiobooks could help literacy in Indonesia

Literacy beyond the classroom

By Irfan Rifai, Bina Nusantara University in Jakarta


Since adults learn differently to children, tapping into familiar mediums could help boost literacy.

For the Gen Xers of Indonesia, radio dramas of the eighties like Saur Sepuh — a show dramatising the power struggles of the Majapahit empire — were akin to the Netflix of today. Some of these shows were so popular they helped to preserve regional languages.

Decades on, Indonesia’s literacy levels are not where they could be. Encouraging more Indonesians to embrace audiobooks could be a way forward.

While the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the global use of digital applications for people to consume and exchange information, Indonesia’s digital literacy index is still at the “medium” level.

The government wants to increase digital literacy among women, those with a low income, and low-educated and senior citizens, all groups who are falling behind on digital literacy.

Unlike children, adults learn using their existing base of knowledge and life experience. And for Gen X and Y, groups which collectively make up 47.75 percent of Indonesia’s entire population, radio dramas are a good frame of reference.

These generations have also witnessed the change in people’s behaviour toward data consumption and storage, not to mention the transformation of texts into eBooks, and then to other forms integrating visual and audio-visual components.

In the United States, adults aged 30 to 49 years are the biggest users of audiobooks, helping to drive overall growth in the sector.

Despite the rising popularity of audiobooks, many language and literacy scholars still question the platform’s contribution to supporting students’ comprehension. Some argue that for non-disabled students, listening to an audiobook is “cheating” as it does not provide the same experience as for those reading regular books or texts.

On the other hand, many literacy skills and strategies used by audiobook readers are comparable to those used by text readers. For example, students must use background knowledge and inferencing to understand stories, at the same time improving their comprehension, while listening to audiobooks.

The patterns of stress and intonation in a language spoken by narrators, known as prosody, can also help listeners clarify the meanings of certain ambiguous words.  Despite the lack of popularity of audiobooks in Indonesia, and scholars dismissing them, the habits of listening to narratives told in audio forms could become a significant “fund of knowledge” for adults wanting to improve their literacy via a familiar medium.

Busy Indonesians are already big users of Spotify, and audiobooks suit their fast paced lifestyle, able to be consumed while commuting, any time and anywhere.

Younger, more active adults can listen to audiobooks as they exercise, jog, or visit the gym. Those in rural areas or with poor internet infrastructure can even listen to audiobooks by having them pre-downloaded on their cell phones from school or public library computers.

For human beings, listening is a foundational skill for all kinds of learning. But as with any other skill, getting better at it requires practice. Listening and reading are two integrated receptive skills required to significantly improve one’s mastery of a foreign or second language. A regular habit of listening to audiobooks could also help build phonemic and phonological awareness or awareness of the sounds in their own language.

Students can start by listening to longer audiobooks than they read.


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Irfan Rifai is a lecturer in the English department, Bina Nusantara University, Jakarta Indonesia. He is actively involved in Indonesia Literacy Educators’ Association. His research focuses on Reading and Writing Instructions ; Literacy ; and Readers’ Response. Dr. Rifai declares no conflict of interest and did not receive any funding of any form.

Originally published under Creative Commons by 360info™.

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